Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

August 6, 2007

Swimsuits for All, indeed!

Filed under: Be Super Fantastic,Superfantastic Fattitude,Swimwear — Francesca @ 12:08 pm

One of our many internet friends wrote to us with an impassioned plea:

Could you or Plumcake take on the arduous challenge of swimsuits for big girls? I love the beach, and once I get there I’ve learned to sort of forget that I am in fact wearing one, but I don’t think there’s a single thing that makes me feel unattractive and very un-fabulous than trying on swimsuit after swimsuit, especially if there is someone else in the dressing room shaped so as to remind me that all of these garments were certainly not designed with someone like me in mind. I’d love any insight you may have into what I am sure is a problem for lots of us.

The first thing that Francesca wants to say in response is good for you for putting aside your self-consciousness at the beach itself. As Nancy Sinatra would say, the beach is made for walkin’ . . . right into the sand and surf, with nary a care about our lumpy-squishies. When God created the beach, it was his (her?) gift to ALL of us. The beach is the great leveler, with salty air for us all. Especially when we are there with people who love us and want us to have a great time. And you don’t know anyone else there, so who gives a darn what they might be thinking?

Which brings me to an important point about being self-conscious, such as in a dressing room where one might feel ashamed to undress. I would like to introduce you to the concept of “self-ocentricism.” This is the belief that each person in the world is way more wrapped up in their own concerns than in yours. Just as you are, perhaps, obsessing over your own imperfect parts and feeling embarrassed, the other lady in the dressing room is thinking about her issues, and really not paying any attention to you. When we women obsess over whether our hair or makeup or fat is all in the right place, we forget that no one else cares about our looks as they do about their own, just as we are obsessing about our own looks, not someone else’s.

Understanding self-ocentricism takes a lot of the pressure off.

However! We still want to look superfantastic, for ourselves. And so I turn you over to our friends at Swimsuits for All, who have created a “shop by shape” feature for swimsuits (click here and scroll down), similar to the “myShape” feature at Igigi.

For Pears, I love this one-piece with the pretty sash showing just in the front:

Hint of Raspberry Tart!

SwimSuitsforAll has many wonderful designs for many wonderful shapes, through size 34W.

Happy shopping!

xoxo, Francesca


  1. Lands End also has fantastic plus size suits, although they only go to size 26. VERY well made and very figure flattering.

    Comment by Sara — August 6, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

  2. i bought a Longitude suit last year and it’s fabulous! not only am i not a size that can easily find attractive swimsuits, but i have the additional problem of being really long waisted. i tried on the Longitude and it fit like a dream, feels great and is actually comfortable to *swim* in. i’m getting me another. the first time in my life i’ll have *two* swimsuits!

    Comment by bonnie-ann black — August 6, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

  3. I like the Lands End tugless tank a lot, too.

    A related desire: what about exercise clothes for the Big Girl? I do okay with black tights or leggings on the bottom, but my t-shirts on the top are baggy and uncute.

    Comment by maryb — August 6, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

  4. Y’all beat me to it: I was going to sing the praises of the Lands’ End tugless tank. I love mine. It really, truly, IS tugless.

    Try for exercise gear. It’s a little pricey, but they’ve got nice stuff in sizes up to 6X

    Comment by Jezebella — August 6, 2007 @ 2:11 pm

  5. Thanks, Jezebella, I will!

    Comment by maryb — August 6, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

  6. self-ocentricism

    You got that right. I actually just finished a fiction book (for teens) called Fat Kid Rules the World. By the end of the book, the “fat kid” learns about self-ocentricism (it doesn’t have a name in the book). What a revelation.

    Comment by kalamari — August 6, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

  7. The other great thing about Land’s End is they have this “virtual model” feature where you plug in your height and weight and hairstyle, etc. and then tweak it a bit till you think it looks like you, and then try on swimsuits to your heart’s content without leaving your living room. It was nice to be able to visualize the swimsuit on someone with exactly my body shape.

    Comment by KJ — August 6, 2007 @ 11:28 pm

  8. I also recommend the lands end swimsuits – not just the tugless ones. Also, they’re having their end of summer sales on swimsuits, so it’s a great time to check them out. What I like best is their mix & match (tankini style) separates. I’m two sizes bigger in tops than I am in bottoms, so being able to order each piece in the right size makes me feel even better when I’m going to the beach – no droopy bottoms or having to keep very still so I don’t fall out of the top!

    Comment by lizb — August 7, 2007 @ 9:13 am

  9. I’ve been being officially egocentric (Elaynocentricity is my blog name) for years now.

    However, for those of you who STILL suffer from the “but everyone’s going to be looking at me!” jitters, ask yourselves this: Are others looking at YOU critically, or are YOU looking at OTHERS critically?

    My mother is the type of person who makes the “I can’t BELIEVE she’s wearing THAT at her size” or “That’s just a RIDICULOUS outfit for someone her age” or “She’s making a fool out of herself dancing in front of everyone” comments. As a result of this, she is convinced that everyone ELSE in the world is thinking those same things, and she is almost paralytically self-conscious about her weight, clothing, movements, etc. because “people will think ____ about me.”

    When I started thinking, “Hey, she looks like she’s having a great time and enjoying the hell out of doing the conga in a size 8X bikini,” instead of “She should be HUMILIATED to be seen in public like that!” was when I started relaxing and enjoying my own self quite a bit more, and caring a lot less what other people are thinking.

    Comment by elayne — August 11, 2007 @ 10:36 pm

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